This interesting and unusual name is of early medieval English and Old French origin, introduced into England by the Normans after the Conquest of 1066. The name is one of that large group of early surnames that were gradually created from the habitual use of a nickname. In this instance the nickname was given with either literal or ironic intentions, and is derived from the Middle English "devin, divin", Old French "devin", excellent, perfect, from the Latin "divinus", divine, god-like, a derivative of "divus", from "deus", god. The early recordings of the name such as that of Nicholas Devin below, show the typical medieval use of "u" for "v". The modern surname can be found as Devin, Devine, Devinn, Deavin and Divine. The marriage of Joseph Deavin and Sarah Humphrys was recorded at St. James's, Westminster, in London, on December 29th 1783. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Nicholas le Deuin, or le Diuin, which was dated 1187, in the "Herefordshire Pipe Rolls", during the reign of King Henry 11, known as "The Builder of Churches", 1154 - 1189. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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